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Renters tend to be minorities and have lower incomes, meaning these groups will most likely be disportionately affected by evictions when the national moratorium is lifted, the Pew Research Center says.
A nationwide ban on evictions has been in place for more than a year and was recently extended by President Biden through Oct. 3. But the end of the moratorium, which was intended to protect tenants who couldn’t pay their rent because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has alarmed tenant advocates and others who fear millions of renters could be evicted from their homes.
Renters tend to be younger, racial and ethnic minorities and have lower incomes, meaning that these groups will likely be disproportionately affected by evictions when the moratorium is lifted, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Landlords, meanwhile, continue to voice concern that they can’t pay their mortgages, property taxes and repair bills with tenants behind on rent. And Pew points out that about 70% of rental properties are owned by individuals not corporations.
Nationwide, about 58% of households headed by Black/African American adults rent their homes, as do nearly 52% of Hispanic/Latino adults, according to Pew’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. By contrast, 28% of white households and 40% of Asian households live in rental units.
Sixty-six percent of U.S. residents age 35 or younger are more likely to rent than other age groups, according to Pew. About 42% of renters are 35 to 44 years old and 32% are 45 to 54 years old.
Though renters are almost evenly split between families of two or more and singles, people living alone account for the biggest group of renters (38%), Pew says.
Rent is tenants’ biggest expense. Of the nearly 44.1 million renters in 2019, more than 45% paid rent equal to 30% or more of their gross household income, Pew’s research shows. However, that's down from 2013, when nearly half of renters paid 30% or more in rent.
Who Are Landlords?
The Census Bureau counted nearly 20 million rental properties in 2018, Pew’s research shows. Individual investors owned about 14 million properties and for-profit businesses owned 3.7 million properties.
Nevertheless, companies own a larger share of rental units than individuals who tend to hold only one or two properties, Pew says. While about 73% of single-unit rental properties are owned by individuals, 70% of properties with 25 or more units are owned by businesses.
For more information about Pew’s research, click here.
Jean Dimeo is managing editor of Route Fifty.